12TH AVENUE GRILL
1120 12th Ave. (808-732-9469) 12thavegrill. com The fresh flavors of local produce paired with chef finds like skate and farmed organic New Zealand King Salmon make for bold and interesting tastes and textures at this contemporary American restaurant.
2259 Kalakaua Ave. (808-923-7311) azurewaikiki.com At this Diamond Head and Waikiki beachfront dining, experience a luxurious ambience paired with fresh local fish and a Hawai‘i twist on classic mixed drinks.
35 N. Hotel St. (808-537-3535) bar35.com Enjoy a selection of more than 150 beers from around the world and an extensive array of cocktails, wine, and sake alongside chewy, gourmet pizza at this Chinatown location’s indoor or outdoor patio bar.
1009 Kapiolani Blvd. (808-585-0011) chefchai.com Palette pampering has never been easier than with Hawaiian ingredients fused with Asian inspiration and an alluring wine list at this longtime LGBT favorite.
100 Kapiolani Blvd. (808-591-0101) dorakusushi.com Influenced by the Japanese izakaya style of dining, this contemporary Japanese restaurant creates a casual yet sophisticated style of eating and drinking.
HANK’S HAUTE DOGS
324 Coral St. (808-532-4265) hankshautedogs.com Presenting a creative play on the all American favorite, Hank’s Haute Dogs appeals to a wide range of taste buds and diets, with great ingredients and innovative thinking.
31 N. Pauahi St. (808-533-4277) hasrbistro.com With an impressive lineup of live, local music and tremendous wine selection via the accompanying wine shop next door, this Chinatown spot is great for lunch, pau hana, or dinner.
HONOLULU BURGER CO.
1295 S. Beretania St. (808-626-5202) honoluluburgerco.com At this simple burger joint, all burgers are made with 100 percent, grass-fed Big Island beef and can be topped with a variety of local favorites like Portuguese sausage, kalua pig, or braised Korean short ribs.
IL LUPINO TRATTORIA & WINE BAR $$$
Royal Hawaiian Center Level 1, 2233 Kalakaua Ave. (808-922-3400) illupino.com Dishing out delectable Italian fare at both its indoor and alfresco bar and dining, this restaurant at the heart of Waikiki also boasts a salumeria where cured meats and cheeses are sliced in front of patrons.
1147 Bethel St. (808-537-4992) jjdolans.com This Irish pub stands out for its handcrafted New York pizza and handpoured drinks. Follow it on Twitter for daily pizza specials.
KOKO HEAD CAFE
1145c 12th Ave. (808-732-8920) kokoheadcafe.com Run by famed New York-born chef Lee Anne Wong, this island-style brunch house is quickly becoming one of O‘ahu’s favorite spots for sweet (black pepper maple pancakes; peanut butter, banana, bacon sandwich) and savory (breakfast bibimbop with bacon, Portuguese sausage, and heritage ham) daytime dining.
KALAPAWAI CAFÉ & DELI
750 Kailua Rd. (808-262-3354) kalapawaimarket.com This spacious bistro-style stop features an impressive small-plate menu with a focus on clean, seasonal flavors and tidy presentation. The sweet potato ravioli in sage brown butter sauce and the bone-in pork chop are must-try.
Ala Moana Shopping Center, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. (808-947-9899) Though Longhi’s is known for fresh fish, prime steaks, and succulent lobsters, it also has one of the best eggs benedicts on the island.
MAI TAI BAR
Ala Moana Center, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. (808-947-2900) maitaibar.com Great for catching the game during the day, this open-air bar is one of the best places for happy hour and is where locals dance the night away to reggae and Hawaiian music.
32 N. Hotel St. (808-523-7575) manifesthawaii.com This downtown favorite is a modern coffee shop by day and cultural, sophisticated cocktail bar by night, featuring popular deejays weekly, rotating art exhibitions, and small bites.
1129 N. Nimitz Hwy. (808-540-1377) nicospier38.com Located on Pier 38, this waterfront restaurant presents fresh, locally caught fish and is great for breakfast or lunch.
PIG AND THE LADY
83 N. King St. (808-585-8255) thepigandthelady.com Inspired by his mother’s home-cooked meals, chef Andrew Le presents contemporary French-Vietnamese fare that farmers-market regulars have come to know and love. Com ga hoi an; pho French dip; bun bo hue.
PINT + JIGGER
1936 S King St. (808-744-9593) pintandjigger.com Escape for a moment at this modern public house, which intertwines craft beers and original cocktails with savory food in a classic social atmosphere.
2255 Kalakaua Ave. (808-922-4422) rumfirewaikiki.com Lounge in the warm atmosphere of this restaurant with 180-degree views of Waikiki or sit outside in the sun’s rays and indulge in social comfort food with local influences and an impressive rum selection.
TANGO CONTEMPORARY CAFÉ
1288 Ala Moana Blvd., Ste. 120 (808-593-7288) tangocafehawaii.com Enjoy Scandinavian-Asian inspired cuisine in a minimalist contemporary atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re picnicking in a park.
3435 Waialae Ave. (808-735-5900) townkaimuki.com This unpretentious American bistro’s menu changes daily based on the freshest ingredients available, enticing diners to come back for more.
WAIOLU OCEAN VIEW LOUNGE
223 Saratoga Rd. (808-683-7777) Inspired by the simplicity of tapas, guests can dine in an intimate setting for two or choose to share flavorful small-plate creations while sipping specialty drinks using only the freshest ingredients.